More than 28,000 informal sector workers affected by recent typhoons in the National Capital Region (NCR) have benefited from the emergency employment assistance by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
“In the NCR, some 28,505 workers were given emergency employment under TUPAD. Our target beneficiaries are 128,000 workers,” Undersecretary Anna Dione said in a Laging Handa briefing on Thursday.
TUPAD is the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers program.
Aside from the emergency employment assistance, Dione said DOLE would also provide livelihood assistance to residents affected by Super Typhoon Rolly and Typhoon Ulysses.
“We are conducting (an) assessment on the areas affected on how we will be able to provide them with livelihood programs,” she said, adding that they would coordinate with local government units regarding the livelihood assistance.
DOLE is also looking to provide emergency employment to some 40,000 workers in Bicol who were displaced by the successive typhoons that hit the region.
It said it has allocated nearly P500 million for the six provinces that have been badly affected by “Rolly” and “Ulysses” – Albay, Catanduanes, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Masbate, and Sorsogon.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III visited Legazpi, Albay last weekend and ordered expedited profiling and payment of some 40,000 worker-beneficiaries across Bicol.
Under TUPAD, beneficiaries were given emergency employment and were paid the minimum wage in their respective areas.
Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte on Thursday welcomed Malacañang’s creation of an expanded, special inter-agency task force to take charge of rehabilitating Bicol and other places across Luzon affected by the three devastating typhoons.
Villafuerte had earlier called on the two chambers of the Congress to set aside a bigger calamity fund in the proposed 2021 national budget.
The House resumed session this week following the month-long congressional break.
Villafuerte said that even before the onslaught of the latest tropical depressions, the calamity funds of the LGUs in badly-hit places were probably depleted already, having been used for their respective localities’ Covid-19 efforts.
“Camasines Sur, for one, and other Bicol provinces have suffered the fourfold blow by the lingering COVID-19 outbreak, super typhoons Quinta and Rolly two weeks ago, and, just last week, storm Ulysses that pummeled the province and other places in Luzon, including Metro Manila,” Villafuerte said.
“The affected LGUs are in dire need of calamity fund augmentation so they could attend to the immediate food and shelter needs of their respective constituents, especially those who have lost their homes partially or completely, and who now remain stuck in evacuation centers with nowhere else to go,” he said.
On Thursday, the Southern Police District started deploying police personnel to Cagayan Valley to assist affected families and to distribute relief goods.
SPD director Emmanuel Peralta said his men from the District Community Affairs Development Division headed by P/Col. Aldrine Gran, P/Maj. Randy Moratilla and B/Gen. Crizaldo Nieves led the turnover of relief goods at Camp Marcelo in Region 2.
He said the relief goods were composed of bottled water, face masks, face shields, canned goods, food packs, clothing, toiletries and other essential needs.
In Marikina City, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority distributed health and safety devices, and relief bags to families affected by massive floods caused by Typhoon Ulysses.
The MMDA made the distribution of relief goods in cooperation with Mayor Marcelino Teodoro and officials of the Philippine Hardware Foundation, Inc. and St. Stephen High School Alumni Association, Inc.
Chairman Danilo Lim said the MMDA is ready to provide any assistance to the city government as it strives to restore a sense of normalcy.
Aside from the relief packs, the MMDA has sent composite teams and deployed heavy equipment to help in clearing operations.
“We are more than willing and ready to aid Marikina in going back to normal by helping in their clearing operations and providing food packs to its residents,” Lim said.
Teodoro, for his part, said that the assistance given by the MMDA at the onset of the typhoon was very timely and helpful, thus, resulting in a swift disaster response.
“Our goal is to clear our roads faster than what we did during Ondoy. The city is closely coordinating with concerned agencies to bring back economic opportunities for Marikeños,” Teodoro said.
Lim and Teodoro also supervised clearing operations being done in various areas in Marikina where the LGU and MMDA personnel hauled garbage and other debris.
Meanwhile, some 15 truckloads of relief goods including foods and non-food items were rushed to the flood-stricken region in Cagayan Valley by the provincial government of Pampanga.
Gov. Dennis Pineda led the convoy that took them more than 12 hours to transport by land to reach the calamity-stricken region, said Joel Mapiles, head of the Provincial Information Office (PIO).
“Pampanga contingent left Tuesday evening and reached Cagayan early afternoon Wednesday where we were welcomed by Gov. Manuel Mamba, who was surprised by the huge volume of aid brought by Pineda,” said Mapiles.
Mapiles said Pineda told Mamba that the aid came from the people of Pampanga to show their empathy for the people of Cagayan.
Clark International Airport Corp. and the Angeles City local government will be sending separate aid to Cagayan in the coming days.
CIAC employees contributed a total of P50,000 worth of assorted goods for flood victims in Cagayan Valley, one of the hardest-hit regions by the recent typhoon.
“This is CIAC’s modest contribution, our personnel’s own donation, to help ease the misfortune of Cagayan victims and lift up their spirits,” CIAC president Aaron Aquino said.
The goods were turned over to Angeles City Mayor Carmelo Lazatin Jr., represented by city hall officer Reina Manuel, and officials from the city’s Social Welfare and Development Office.
The local government unit of Angeles City will also conduct its own relief donation drive and delivery to Cagayan.
Cagayan Valley ended up as a catch basin as rain water from nearby provinces during the Typhoon Ulysses overflowed the Magat Dam and resulted in what has been described as the worst flood to hit the region in 40 years.
Also on Thursday, the chairperson of the House committee on transportation warned against the proliferation of con syndicates who are involved in donation scams.
Samar Rep. Edgar Mary Sarmiento, the panel chairperson, said a group claiming to represent his office has been asking money from friends, supporters and even businessmen from the transport industry purportedly as part of his fund-raising campaign to help the typhoon victims.
Sarmiento also called on the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to launch a crackdown against these scammers who are the worst kind of criminals as they take advantage of people who are already so helpless, desperate and are at the lowest point of their lives.
He said that he had heard similar stories from members of Congress who are known for their generosity.